Monday, January 20, 2014

Cookbook Sale!

I am having a sale on my cookbooks. Please click the links below each picture to view and order. If you like to bake, I know you will enjoy these books. They contain lots of great recipes. Happy Baking!






Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wishing You A Beautiful Holiday Season



May All Your Dreams And Wishes Come True

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Caramel Apple Cheesecake






It is so hard to believe that the holidays will be here soon. Next month is Thanksgiving. Where does the time go? This cheesecake recipe is perfect for a holiday gathering. You can either top it with whipped cream rosettes and pecans or if you prefer, heat some store bought caramel sauce and drizzle it over the cake then sprinkle with pecans. Either way, it will please your guests.


Crust
 1 ½ c. graham cracker crumbs

¼ c. granulated sugar

¾ tsp. ground cinnamon

6 T. butter, melted

1 (14 oz.) pkg. vanilla caramels, unwrapped

1 (5 oz.) can evaporated milk

¾  c. chopped pecans


Filling
5 ( 8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened

1 ½ c. granulated sugar

3 T. cornstarch

1 T. vanilla extract

5 lg. eggs, room temperature

2 lg. egg yolks, room temperature

½ c. sour cream

2 c. chopped, peeled Granny Smith apples

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 ½ T. all-purpose flour

Garnish: Sweetened whipped cream, chopped, toasted pecans

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Spray a 10-inch springform pan with nonstick baking spray. Tightly wrap the outside of the pan with heavy duty aluminum foil, shiny side out, covering the bottom and extending all the way up sides. Crust: In medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and butter. Pat crumbs into bottom of pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool. In medium saucepan, combine caramels and evaporated milk. Cook and stir over low heat until smooth. Pour into crust-lined pan. Sprinkle with the pecans. Reduce oven temperature to 300ºF. Filling: In large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, cornstarch and vanilla extract on medium speed until smooth.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition. Blend in the sour cream. Combine the apples, cinnamon and flour; fold into cream cheese mixture. Gently pour the filling into the crust. Smooth the top. Place the springform pan in a large roasting or baking pan, then place on oven rack. Carefully fill the roasting pan halfway with hot water.  Bake for 75-90 minutes or until puffed around edges and center jiggles slightly. Remove cheesecake from water bath, discard foil and transfer to cake rack.  Cool for 15 minutes.  With a thin-bladed knife loosen crust from sides of pan and cool for 30 minutes more. Unlatch the clasp and slip off the pan side.  Cool for an additional 1 ½ hours.  If cheesecake is not completely cooled place in the refrigerator uncovered and then loosely cover when cool.  Refrigerate at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. Serves 16. Just before serving, pipe whipped cream rosettes around outer edge of cake. Sprinkle pecans over rosettes.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Italian Wedding Soup






It is a chilly, rainy day here in Atlanta. What a great time to make soup. Italian wedding soup is known as 'Ministra Maritata.' Maritata translates as marriage and historians believe that marriage referred to the ingredients mixed together (minestrone and meatballs), not to the soup being served at marriages. This soup is great anytime served with lots of crusty Italian bread.



The Meatballs

1 pound of lean ground beef
1 lg. egg
1/4 c. bread crumbs
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
2 T. fresh chopped parsley
3 T. grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all of the above ingredients thoroughly, but avoid over-mixing. Form meat mixture into bite sized balls about 1 to 1 1/4 inches and place on a non-stick baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until they are golden brown and firm all the way through.

The Soup:

2 T. olive oil
1 lg. yellow onion, diced
1 c. carrots, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3/4 c. celery, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
10 c. chicken stock
1/2 c. dry white wine
1 c. small pasta
4 c. of bite-sized, washed, fresh spinach leaves
Parmesan cheese to taste

Heat a large soup or stock pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil, onion, carrots and celery and saute until softened, but do not brown them, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken stock and wine and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Add the meatballs and simmer for 2 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper. Stir in the fresh spinach and cook for 1 minute or until the spinach is just wilted. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with grated Parmesan. Serve with big chunks of bread.



Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Caramel Frosted Layer Cake




I am so glad that fall is arriving. It is my favorite time of the year because I do lots of baking. I am organizing my cookie recipes because I bake and sell them at Christmas. I always like to add one or two new ones to my list. each year. The recipe I am posting today is for a layer cake with caramel frosting,  it is so good, and easy to make too! I am having a sale on my cookbooks too. Just click on the links on the left side bar to view them.

Cake
3 c. sifted cake flour (measure after sifting)

1 T. baking powder

¼ tsp. salt

1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened

2 c. granulated sugar, sifted

1 T. vanilla extract

4 lg. eggs, room temperature

1 c. milk

Caramel Frosting
1 c. packed dark brown sugar

½ c. evaporated milk

3 T. butter

2 teaspoons light corn syrup

2 c. confectioners’ sugar

1 T. vanilla extract

Garnish: toasted pecan halves, optional


Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Spray 2 (9-inch) or 3 (8-inch) round cake pans with nonstick baking spray containing flour.  Resift the flour with the baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.  In large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla extract with mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture by thirds, alternating with the milk, and ending with the dry ingredients.  Mix just enough to blend the batter after each addition.  Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and tap pans once on counter to remove air bubbles.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool cakes in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes.  Remove the pans and place cakes on wire racks to cool completely.  Frosting: Combine the brown sugar, milk, butter, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Reduce the heat, and simmer until thick (about 5 or 6 minutes) stirring occasionally.  Remove from the heat.  Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract, and beat at medium speed with mixer until smooth and slightly warm.  Cool for 2 to 3 minutes. (Frosting will be thin but thickens as it cools). To complete cake:  Spread the frosting between the layers and on top and sides of cake.  Garnish top with toasted pecan halves, if desired. Serves 12.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Florentine Muffins






Well, since I lasted posted a recipe it is still raining in Atlanta. It has been one wet summer and later this week it is only going to be in the 70's. That is unheard of for Atlanta at this time of the year. Of course, when the weather gets cooler it is a great time to bake. These are great little muffins and so easy to make. I hope you enjoy them. Be sure to squeeze dry the spinach.



1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 T. butter
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 T. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground pepper
2 lg. eggs, lightly beaten
1 c. milk
6 T. canola oil
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin pan or line with 12 muffin paper liners. In a nonstick skillet, sauté onion in butter until beginning to soften. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the spinach and cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring constantly. . Set aside to cool.   In large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. In another bowl, stir together the eggs, milk, and oil until blended. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the milk mixture and add the spinach mixture. Stir just until combined; do not overmix. Fold in the mozzarella cheese.  Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until well risen and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove tin to wire rack. Cool 5 minutes before removing muffins from cups; finish cooling on rack. Serve warm or cool completely.  Makes 12.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Pound Cake with Chocolate Amaretto Sauce






Happy 4th of July everyone. Unfortunately in Atlanta we are having so much rain and it is going to continue for days. I know lots of people have plans for today and hope they can still do them. This recipe is for a great pound cake with a delicious chocolate amaretto sauce. I hope you enjoy it. Have a great day.




Cake
3 c. all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 2/3 c. granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
6 lg. eggs, room temperature
1 c. sour cream
2 T. heavy cream

Sauce
1 c. heavy whipping cream
1/3 c. granulated sugar
2 (4 oz) bittersweet chocolate bars, chopped
2 T. butter
4 T. amaretto liqueur

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Spray a 12-cup Bundt or 10-inch tube baking pan with nonstick baking spray containing flour. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt.  Sift again.  Set aside. In large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar, vanilla extract and almond extract with mixer on medium speed for 10 minutes, or until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture by thirds, alternating with the sour cream and ending with the dry ingredients.  Mix just enough to blend the batter after each addition.  Stir in the heavy cream. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.  Bake for 65-75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.  Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 25 minutes,  Remove the pan and place the cake on a wire rack and allow to cool completely.  Serve with the Chocolate Amaretto Sauce.  Serves 16.
Prepare sauce:  Combine the whipping cream, sugar, chocolate and butter in a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thick and smooth.  Remove from heat and add amaretto.  Stir to mix well.  Serve warm or at room temperature.